Two weeks ago, an anonymous drone pilot gave us a view of Scientology’s secretive international management base (“Int Base”) that we’d never seen before. Then, last week, he flew us over the even more secret “CST” headquarters compound in the mountains above Los Angeles, where we believe Scientology leader David Miscavige stashed away his wife Shelly eleven years ago.
Today, we’re getting yet another video vantage point that’s never been seen before. It’s a drone flyover of L. Ron Hubbard’s last earthly coordinates before he left his body and this planet to continue, Scientologists say, his research into creation’s ultimate secrets, unimpeded by a physical body.
Today’s amazing drone footage takes us over the Whispering Winds ranch near Creston, California, where Hubbard spent his final few years in total seclusion before he departed this planet at 8 pm on January 24, 1986.
We’re going to take you to the exact spot where that occurred, something even most Scientologists — church members or independents — have never seen.
So we’ll try to keep the J&D at a minimum today as we get a close look at what should be one of the holiest sites in the Scientology universe — and yet is not marked with a monument or any other marker that we can see.
The ranch is located about 20 miles south and east of Paso Robles. We’ve put together this map to orient you, showing the other locations we’ve visited with the help of the anonymous drone pilot over the last couple of weeks…
Now take a look at these flyovers. We found the second one to be particularly striking. If Hubbard means a lot to you, this can’t help but impact you in a big way, we figure.
Remember to go full screen to soak up the incredible detail of the 4k camera.
From 1986 to 1987, former Sea Org worker and LRH chef Sinar Parman lived at the ranch. He provided some signposts for us to help orient us and explain what we’re looking at.
In this first screenshot from the second flyover, the drone is approaching the ranch from the east, and coming up is the oval horse track with the CST logo carved into it — two interlocking rings, with smaller diamonds inside.
Those symbols weren’t there when Sinar lived there. They came later, at least after 1994, according to the most recent photo of the horse track we could find that didn’t feature the symbol.
What are the symbols for? In 2012, former CST employee Dylan Gill explained to us that the symbols are meant to help guide Hubbard back home when he returns to earth.
“That’s where LRH is supposed to go when he returns,” Gill says. Once Hubbard adopts a new body, he’s expected to make his way to one of the CST bases. “That’s where he’s supposed to be raised and be taken care of,” Gill says. “So the symbol is a way for a spirit to find its way back to where it belongs.”
And he added that of all the secret CST locations, it was the ranch at Creston that they believed was the most likely place where LRH would return, since he had “died” there in 1986. (Like other CST locations, the ranch’s location is kept secret from Scientologists who aren’t part of the small CST staff. But unlike the other CST compounds, this one doesn’t have an underground vault.)
There’s also a belief in the Sea Org (though not all former members agree) that Hubbard would be given the standard 21-year break between lives. By that reckoning, he’d be a 9-year-old child by now. Anyone seen a little red-headed kid hanging around the ranch these days? (Sunny Pereira says the 21-year break refers to coming back to the Sea Org, so the new Hubbard would be 30 years old, but a 9-year Sea Org member in his new body. How many 9-year veterans are there in the Sea Org? And is David Miscavige having them all sec-checked constantly just in case? Fascinating.)
When Sinar lived there in the year after Hubbard died, he says the place was greener, and it was the home to many animals. “Bison, cattle, a Black Angus bull for breeding, llamas, ducks, geese, and swan (white and black), all in the various pastures around the property,” he says.
The drone heads over to the west end of the property, and then circles back until it’s directly over the horse stables and bunkhouse, a U-shaped structure…
The circular shape on the left is an exercise pen for the horses, Sinar says. The stables, with bunkhouse and kitchen, is the U-shaped building at the top. At the bottom of the picture, you see two of the three outbuildings that Sinar says were double-wide trailers for crew quarters and dining.
And now, the drone takes us in for a closer view…
According to the San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s official report, deputies found the Bluebird motor home that Hubbard used as quarters parked next to the stables. They entered it along with Hubbard’s personal physician, Dr. Gene Denk.
We entered the motorhome, which was in immaculate condition and observed the deceased laying in a bed in the back of the motorhome. The air conditioner was running in the
motorhome. We then went to the back of the motorhome where the deceased was lying and made a visual observation of him. We did not detect any evidence of foul play. Dr. Denk advised us that Mr. Hubbard had a stroke approximately one week prior to his death, and that the cause of death was from the stroke.
The drone hovers over this spot for a moment. Sinar confirms that the parking area, to the right side of the U-shaped stables, was where the Bluebird was parked. That bare patch of earth, with no marker, is where L. Ron Hubbard breathed his last.
And Sinar told us it wasn’t the only vehicle parked in that spot. There was a 5th wheel trailer that Pat and Annie Broeker called home.
“There was also another Airstream trailer parked in a row. It was the music trailer, with organ, synths, drums, etc. In it, I believe, that’s where he recorded ‘Thank you for Listening’.”
Sinar described the situation in Hubbard’s last days, when Pat Broeker was generally away, Denk had come to stay, and the ranch caretaker was Steve “Sarge” Pfauth, who recently died. “Sarge lived in the bunkhouse. Then Gene came and he lived in the 5th wheel, and Annie moved to the bunkhouse. Sarge slept on the [bunkhouse] couch.”
After this look at Hubbard’s final rodeo, the drone passes over to the LRH House itself, where it’s hoped that the Commodore will return some day to live and prepare to take over the Church of Scientology again…
And then the drone gives us a pretty thrilling look at the horse track, the CST logo, and the observation tower in the middle.
Wow, that’s some view. Thank you again, anonymous drone pilot.
Scientology talk in the wee hours tonight
After last week’s technical snafu, we’re going to try again tonight with some late-night radio hijinks. At midnight tonight on the west coast — and yes, that translates to three in the morning where we are — we’ll be going on the radio to talk with none other than Richard C. Hoagland. The former fixture at Coast to Coast radio has his own show he calls “The Other Side of Midnight.”
We’ve done several radio shows that are of a, shall we say, speculative nature, and we find that the hosts are always very fascinated to get some real information about Scientology. While we may not ascribe to Hoagland’s astronomical notions, we have a feeling it’s going to be fun to talk Hubbard and Miscavige with him. Please tune in, if you’ve had like a dozen cups of coffee or something.
About that ‘My Scientology Movie’ cancellation
Last night alarm bells went off around the various forums about Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie being pulled from the Port Townsend Film Festival. The festival organizers themselves said the film was pulled by Magnolia Pictures, the movie’s American distributor. Naturally, that caused some worry — was the film under a legal onslaught from Scientology?
Well, we heard back from the Theroux camp that the film being pulled was an unfortunate result of a contract glitch between the BBC (which produced the film) and Magnolia, and that it had nothing to do with outside forces (i.e. Scientology lawyers, etc.).
So we will hope this was just an unfortunate event that won’t affect the film’s opening in the UK next month and the US in January.
If we hear differently, we’ll let you know.
Ebner and the Upright Citizens Brigade moon the Hollywood Celebrity Centre
Our old friend Mark Ebner recently had fun talking about Scientology with the Upright Citizens Brigade in Hollywood — and right across the street from the Hollywood Celebrity Centre itself.
The result has been uploaded to Nerdist.com as the Hound Tall podcast, and you might get a chuckle or two from it.
Next time, let Ebner finish a sentence, you comedians!
E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.
Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield